Chapter 616 – Awakening
In the stack room under Benevolence island, Chu Tian floated in the Water of Recollection and shone with a faint glow; he seemed like a soaked sea sponge. His sea of consciousness that was as disordered as stagnant water began to bubble and surge with waves, churning forcefully.
Suddenly, Chu Tian’s eyes opened once again, gazing into the darkness before him. They were no longer hollow and empty, shining with a hint of intelligence.
Where is this?
Thunk! In struggle, he threw a punch at the glass, followed by a second punch, a third punch… His fist became a bloody mess very soon as blood spread through the faint, blue Water of Recollection.
Crack! The glass fractured! His strikes became even more forceful as the cracks rapidly spread. In the end, the glass shattered with a whoosh. The Water of Recollection poured out, and he fell onto the ground. He wanted to prop himself up, but he felt feeble for a moment, unable to move at all.
The light in the passageway approached from the distance, lighting up one by one. In the end, even the surroundings lit up. Hua Ci arrived before Chu Tian. “You’ve finally awakened!”
Chu Tian faltered for quite a while before barely making out. “Who are you? And who am I?”
Qian Rongzhi gradually opened her eyes. She discovered that she was lying on a bed and covered with a thin blanket. She heard the sound of waves from below, and the smell of lotus flowers was everywhere.
In a daze, she felt like this tiny room was heaven, as she had just returned from hell.
This is… the Waterside Pavilion of Listening Wind!
After blanking out momentarily, her memories returned very soon, filling her head. She propped herself up, and the thin blanket slid off her body. Only then did she realise that she was bare. She subconsciously rubbed her skin. Her skin that had been ripped to pieces had already recovered, just as smooth and bright as before, but it did seem a little pale due to a loss of blood.
She climbed out of bed and walked over to the mirror, only to see an enchanting figure in the reflection with tall breasts, a smooth belly, and slender legs. Her appearance was not unrivalled, but it could be regarded as beautiful.
However, her face was gloomy, completely lacking the pride or dissatisfaction a woman would have when they checked themselves in the mirror. Her gaze was calm and unperturbed, like she was gazing at a rotting corpse.
She turned her body and showed her back to the mirror, but she continued to stare at the mirror. The posture was extremely strange, like a human gorgon.
A snake also existed on her clean, smooth back. It was still the colourful, tiny snake, but it had become much larger, forming a figure-eight and biting its tail as if it was trying to devour itself. However, it did not move at all as if it had fallen asleep.
A smile appeared on her pale face.
She recalled what had happened back then. Several dozen hell snakes bit away and wreaked havoc in her body. Originally, the tortures of hell would appear periodically, but several dozen snakes meant this pain would be endless. Now that was the most realistic situation of those souls that ended up in hell.
However, she would never simply await her doom. She maintained a sliver of clarity in the pain that almost collapsed her mind, urging the original, colourful snake to devour the other venomous snakes one by one.
Devouring mindlessly, the colourful, tiny snake even ended up treating its own tail as another venomous snake, trying its hardest to devour itself. It had only settled down and fallen asleep under her comforting. That was also when she fainted.
Qian Rongzhi looked away and made her way out of the door.
Gu Yanying sat on the edge of the terrace, holding a long fishing pole in her hand with the line dangling in the lake of lotuses. She looked back. “Have you slept well?”
Qian Rongzhi went up and knelt down formally, lowering her head. “Qian Rongzhi sincerely asks master to pass on the Illustrations of Naraka!”
Gu Yanying extended her hand and gently felt Qian Rongzhi’s face, sliding down to her neck and gripping it gently. “Perhaps killing you right now would be the best choice, don’t you think?”
“I concur, or your disciple will end up killing you sooner or later, master!”
“My foolish disciple, why must you torture yourself like this?”
Gu Yanying let out a long sigh and showed a hint of pity. This was not an act, but it made Qian Rongzhi even more furious than any humiliation or coercion. She straightened herself, and the hell snake on her back immediately awakened, flickering its forked tongue.
“And why must you torture yourself like this, master?”
“Then I’ll wait and see what happens. Heh, I’ve caught one.” Gu Yanying swung the fishing pole, and a carp leapt out of the lake. She swung it towards Qian Rongzhi. “Go cook it and treat your master to some filial respect!”
Qian Rongzhi was taken aback. She had never done something like that in her entire life. Although she had been harassed in the Qian family, she was still a Qi Practitioner after all.
“Go. I’ll never pass the greatest, secret cultivation method of the school of Legalism to you so easily or casually!”
Li Qingshan arrived in the underground stack room on Benevolence island with Ru Xin and saw Chu Tian wrapped in a blanket, sitting there quietly. His cultivation had been completely destroyed, no stronger than a mortal, but he gave off a feeling deep like an abyss and lofty like a mountain.
“I’ll leave here up to you. He has recovered some of his memories from his past life, but the memories of his current life seem to be completely missing. However, you can’t be too certain about that either.”
Hua Ci handed things over to Ru Xin and made his way out. He had already completed his responsibilities as a doctor.
Li Qingshan and Ru Xin glanced at one another before looking at Chu Tian on the ground.
“Fellows, please tell me why I have lost the memories of my current life, as well as why I suffered such heavy wounds.”
Chu Tian asked. Actually, what he wanted to ask the most was where had the Heaven Climbing Vine buried in the depths of his soul had gone? Did the two of them take it?
Li Qingshan was unable to adjust to this. If the original Chu Tian was a rowdy primary schooler, then the person before him was a level-headed university professor. They were poles apart.
“Why? Heh, because you were a bastard!”
Chu Tian showed interest. “Please elaborate!”
Li Qingshan roughly explained all of the bastard things Chu Tian had done in the past. Chu Tian let out a long sigh and bowed deeply. “I didn’t think I’d be so unbearable in this life. It’s no wonder I ended up like this. If I have offended you, please forgive me.”
“To think that you can actually turn over a new leaf. You’re a Reincarnated Celestial, so just which celestial heaven did you come from, and how’s it like up in the heavens? Tell me!”
Li Qingshan crouched down and studied Chu Tian carefully. He was extremely interested in the world outside the well Golden Cicada mentioned.
“I have recovered some of the memories from my past life, but they’re incomplete. I probably won’t be able to answer these questions right now.”
“Who knows if you’re lying or not. You might even be faking your apology while holding onto your grudge against me, thinking about how to get revenge in the future. I might as well smack you to death right now.”
Li Qingshan raised his hand. He was about to swing down, when Ru Xin stopped him. “It took my master so much effort to awaken him!”
“I was the one who had been rude and provoked you in the beginning, so even if I get killed, I deserve it. I’ve only lost an arm, so how can I resent you? If I can recover my memories, I’ll tell you everything you want to know that is in my knowledge.”
Chu Tian silently eliminated the possibility of Li Qingshan taking the Heaven Climbing Vine. He found Li Qingshan’s voice to be extremely familiar. When he was unconscious, this seemed to be the voice that awakened him.
“Alright, I’ll spare you for now. You better start anew and watch yourself!”
Li Qingshan pulled back his hand. He was not afraid of revenge from Chu Tian at all. So what if he was a Reincarnated Celestial? His cultivation had been reduced to nothing. By the time he reached Golden Core, who knew how many years would have passed already. By then, finishing him off would still be the matter of a single strike.
However, what surprised him was Chu Tian had not even batted an eye before the solemn murderousness he had shown earlier. Instead, he seemed to be thinking about something else. Let alone the original Chu Tian, even people like Liu Zhangqing were nowhere close in terms of willpower and disposition.
Ru Xin stepped aside. “Alright. Since you’ve already awakened, you can go. I must warn you that it’s best if you conceal your identity and leave silently, or your life might be in danger.”
Chu Tian asked, “Is it related to the woman called Qian Rongzhi?”
Li Qingshan was mildly surprised. In the past, he had only mentioned that Chu Tian well and truly deserved to become acquainted with Qian Rongzhi when he berated Chu Tian’s various misdeeds. He did not expect him to remember it firmly.
“If it were simply qi deviation, why would I have been moved to such a secretive place for retreatment? I might have offended this fellow before me, but he’s broadminded. He would never stoop to the level of making trouble for a cripple, so I must have another powerful enemy somewhere outside. Please tell me about her. Although I have nothing of worth on my right now, I’ll definitely pay you back for saving my life once I recover some more of my memories.”
Chu Tian said with great sincerity. He had already rained the original Chu Tian with curses. As his reincarnation, he had been born with talent greater than regular people, and he possessed an exotic treasure like the Heaven Climbing Vine, yet he had only undergone a single heavenly tribulation in the span of two decades. He was basically a piece of trash, and his behaviour was so atrocious that he would not even acknowledge the saviour of his life, wanting him to perish by himself.
Thankfully, he was very fortunate, facing such misfortune and somehow getting out alive, even awakening some of his past memories prematurely and avoiding the conflict between the memories of the two lives. It could even be described as a blessing in disguise. His priority right now was to understand the current situation and understand what kind of world this was. Only then could he gradually plan out his recovery.
Ru Xin roughly explained Chu Tian’s origins, background, and basic relationship with other people in the Academy of the Hundred Schools. She basically supplemented Li Qingshan from an objective perspective, and she also mentioned how Qian Rongzhi came to visit him in the end.
In the end, she allowed Chu Tian to remain here and recuperate, leaving him with some food and books.
After Li Qingshan and Ru Xin left, Chu Tian murmured softly, “Qian Rongzhi!”
When Li Qingshan berated him for his numerous “misdeeds” and even threatened his life, he was able to remain calm. However, whenever he heard the name “Qian Rongzhi”, his emotions would surge uncontrollably, leading to a sliver of deep hatred.
His memories were already lost, but the will actually still remained. The hatred was so deep that even he felt surprised.
“Looks like the Heaven Climbing Vine has probably been taken away by this Qian Rongzhi. I need to find a way to retrieve it. And, if I don’t release myself from this hatred, it’ll be detrimental to cultivation in the end. I need to resolve it!”
After leaving Benevolence island, Li Qingshan returned to the Qing Xiao dwelling and began a new round of cultivation. He wanted to look through what he comprehended during the past few days before converting it into actual cultivation.
Time passed bit by bit. Before he knew it, Chu Danqing’s calls rang out from outside the dwelling.
“Qingshan, are you in there?”